The Tokyo Olympics have finally kicked off and the Italian athletes are hoping to make history. After an inauguration without any spectators and the thrill of the song “Imagine,” it’s time to fight for the Italian athletes at the Olympics. And it’s time to shine, both for the crowd’s favorites, but for the new generations too.
So, how did the first day go? While some athletes disappointed, others fought hard to reach the podium. Here are the highlights of today.
Gold medal: taekwondo, Vito Dell’Aquila
Not an easy final, but what a final it was. The Italian wins 16-12 against the Tunisian Jendoubi. Dell’Aquila started slow, sizing up the adversary. With only 20 seconds left, he pushed through. And he pushed so hard, he won the golden medal. It’s the first for Italy during Tokyo 2020. Hopefully, not the last one.
Silver medal: Fencing sabre, meet Luigi Samele
The Italian surprised and excited everyone when he reached the final of this Olympic sport. He gained a fighting change for the gold by recuperating on the Korean Kim. In fact, Samele was losing by 6 jabs. With a great show of will and talent, he won the semifinal 15-12. Then, he faced the Hungarian champion Szilagyi, who showed why he was (indeed) the champion. The Italian lost with honor, still celebrating his silver Olympic medal.
Men’s volleyball team
The Italians suffered against Canada, that tried overtaking them at the Ariake Arena. They won at the tie-break, almost letting the victory slip through their fingers. These are the fingers of volleyball giant Ivan Zaytsev who, this time, let the team down. The tie-break was fought tooth and nail, from point to point. Until Sbertoli and his teammate Michieletto closed the deal. Now, it’s time to move on and wait for Poland, the all-time favorites. The appointment is Monday, July, 26th.
Italian athletes at the Olympics: tennis
After the forfait of both Berrettini and Sinner, the hope of the men lie with Fognini and Sonego. The good news? Both won their matches, moving forward in their Games. Unfortunately, Sara Errani’s Olympic adventure is already over.
The feisty woman: Irma Testa
In boxing, Italy didn’t manage to qualify any man fighter. But Irma Testa is there and present, ready to shock Tokyo. In the list of Italian athletes at the Olympics, Testa is the one no one was expecting. That’s when she showed her power. She faced the Russian boxing champion Vorontsova but she wasn’t scared. She fought back, earning her spot in the history of women’s Italian boxing (category 57kg). Next, she will face Michaela Walsh.
More positive results came from the swimming team, thanks to Detti reaching the final in the 400-meters freestyle and swimmer Cusinato, reaching the 400-meter medley final. Another good show came from the women’s 3X3 basketball. Unfortunately, the cyclists didn’t succeed, but there is hope in Nibali for the next rounds.
So, the Italian athletes at the Olympics had an overall positive first day. With two medals in the national team’s pocket, it’s time to wait for day two.